This is Marcus.
His smile is heartwarming. His enticing personality has a mysterious way of drawing people towards him. Everyone that meets Marcus loves him and thinks he’s just the greatest thing since sliced bread. What kind of mom would I be if I didn’t agree?
Marcus truly is a special child. He is intelligent, a self-starter, strong-willed, helpful, thoughtful, and compassionate. It isn’t uncommon to hear random strangers comment on what a wonderful respectful child he is.
On social media, my photographs capture the best of Marcus. The happiest and most memorable moments of his little life. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do on social media? The great thing about photographs is we can use them to tell the story we WANT to tell. We can include what makes us great, and exclude the difficult times.
But Marcus’s story goes much deeper then what’s seen on social media. He had a rough start to life. Before he was even born, he was exposed to alcohol and illegal drugs. As a newborn he was forced to go through the painful process of drug withdrawal. At a week old there was fear of a dangerous disease, so he was admitted to pediatric intensive care and given harsh IV antibiotics. During his stay he developed a MRSA infection – something that continued to effect our entire family for the following 5 years. Despite his heavily damaged and weakened immune system, they pushed forward with vaccinations on schedule, which in our personal belief is the partial cause of a slough of other health problems. My family, his (then) foster family, was by his side the entire time. He was our first baby. I quit my job to care for him. It was a difficult first year but we made it.
Fast forward 10 years and here we are today. I’d love to lie and say it’s been an easy 10 years but it hasn’t. Actually it’s been very difficult. At an early age Marcus was diagnosed with severe ADHD. I spent years in denial and struggled daily with his behavior. Eventually it became too much, and the attention required to handle his out-of-control behavior was unfair for his siblings, so we started him on medication. Shortly after that he was diagnosed with hypothroidism and a growth deficiency, so more medication and even a daily injection were added to his regimen.
This bothered me greatly. Though I believe there is a time and place for medication, and him taking medicine saved my sanity, I’m a huge believer in natural remedies! For as long as I can remember, I’ve turned to natural remedies as much as possible. The fact that I couldn’t help him in a natural way really bothered me. Every year it seemed like we added a new medication for a health condition, and then another medication to combat the side effects of the first one. Meanwhile, I plastered a fake smile on my face as I painfully listen to him excitedly talk daily about his dream of joining the army. I say painfully because he has 2 medical conditions that’ll prevent him from ever joining. He’s been obsessed with his country and the military that protects it, since he could first speak. When I say “obsessed”, I mean like all he wears is army gear, he thanks every veteran he sees, and promises people he’ll fight for his country one day!
Although I’d never let him knows this, all of these hinderences in his life are not OK with me. They’ve never been OK and they never will be OK with me! I know there is an answer out there. A natural remedy. There are books, website, and “remedies” galore, yet nothing has worked. Sometimes the search exhausts me, but then he wakes up in the morning and the struggle begins, the behavior begins, the medication regimen begins, and the day ends with a child beat down by something he can’t control. A child who cries in sorrow over his choices and begs to be different. A child whose faith in God waivers because his prayers to change haven’t been answered. But sometimes answered prayers don’t happen like a magic trick. Sometimes God provides opportunities to find answers. That’s where I believe I come in, because I’ve spent years searching and trying, and I refuse to give up. We’re so close I can taste it. My goal is to help him achieve God’s purpose for his life. Whether he continues on medication for a lifetime or eventually can function day to day without it, I’ll never stop searching for a better, healthier option until either we succeed or I die.
I know I’m not alone in my search. In a world where conditions such as ADHD and Autism are being diagnosed at alarming rates, parents like myself are desperately searching. I never believed ADHD was a true condition until Marcus was born. I’m sure others feel that way too. Now I know it’s real. Know that you’re not alone on your journey! Follow along with our journey. He WILL succeed in life, and so will you. Failure isn’t an option!
If you’re interested in following Marcus’s journey towards natural healing and treatment, check out our Instagram account specifically for ADHD, the GAPS diet, and similar. Follow @mighty._.marcus